What is barbershop?

Barbershop harmony is a style of unaccompanied vocal music characterized by four-part chords for every melody note. The melody is consistently sung by the lead, with the tenor harmonizing above the melody, the bass singing the lowest harmonizing notes, and the baritone completing the chord. To create overtones is one of the main objectives when singing this style of music.

 

The melody is not sung by the tenor except for an infrequent note or two to avoid awkward voice leading, in tags and codas, or when some appropriate embellishing effect can be created. Occasional brief passages may be sung by fewer than four voice parts.

 

Artistic singing in the Barbershop style exhibits a fullness or expansion of sound, precise intonation, a high degree of vocal skill and a high level of unity and consistency within the ensemble. Ideally, these elements should be natural, unmanufactured and free from apparent effort.

 

Barbershop music features songs with understandable lyrics and easily singable melodies whose tones clearly define a tonal center and imply major and minor chords and Barbershop (dominant and secondary dominant) seventh chords that resolve primarily around the circle of fifths, while making frequent use of other resolutions. Barbershop music also features a balanced and symmetrical form, and a standard meter.

 

A typical barbershop arranger may fill in the non-vocal portions of an arrangement with vocal embellishments and "tags" (song endings) that support the song's original theme and maintain it's original intended harmony, form, and structure. Barbershop singers adjust pitches to achieve perfectly tuned chords while remaining true to the established tonal center in order to ring chords and create a more expanded sound while maintaining a good vocal balance necessary to hear the melody line which is not at the top of the chord.

 

Barbershop singers love to add entertaining visuals and showmanship to help convey the theme of the song and add more meaning to the entire package drawing their audiences into the experience. The musical and visual delivery is from the heart, believable, and sensitive to the song and its arrangement throughout. The most stylistic presentation artistically melds together the musical and visual aspects to create and sustain the illusions suggested by the music.


Pitch Pipe Magazine

If you want to stay informed of the all the happenings of the female barbershop music scene, subscribe to Pitch Pipe, which is put out by Sweet Adelines International each quarter. It's full of news, reviews, and previews of coming events and competitions.


History of Sweet Adelines International

After World War II, barbershop singing was growing increasingly popular for men. In 1945, a small group of women wanted to participate in the chord-ringing, fun-filled harmony that the men were singing. So these women organized "Sweet Adelines in America." From its humble beginnings in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sweet Adelines International, as it is now called, has grown to a membership of almost 30,000 women in countries all across the globe.

 

 
September 22, 2017

International Convention

October 9-14, 2017

Las Vegas, NV

 

Pancake Breakfast 

October 21st 2017
Saturday morning
Church of Peace, Richfield
annhansen@att.net


Holiday Show Kickoff

October 24th 2017
 

Holiday Show

December 3rd 2017
Sunday 3pm
Bloomington Jefferson H.S.
twincitiesshowchorustickets@gmail.com
 

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